The on going lightning strikes across the country are having an impact on school attendance in Amuru district, as most pupils choose to stay home whenever it rains.
The on going lightning strikes across the county are having an impact on school attendance in Amuru district, as most pupils choose to stay home whenever it rains.
At Mutema primary school in Amuru Sub County, both the teachers and pupils abandon the school whenever they predict it is going to rain. The fear is compounded by the fact that pupils of primary three and seven attend classes under trees.
Maurencio Lapat, a parent says he fears the trend could worsen the performance at the school, which failed to register a single first grade last year with the best performers only managing to score second grade.
Charles Ayiko, a senior teacher explains that the absence of lightning conductors at the school makes it scary for the school community to have the courage to remain in class when it rains.
Ayiko adds that the fear is compounded by the history of the school. He says last year, lightning struck a tall tree near the school which, coupled with the recent strikes across the country, makes it difficult for them to remain at school whenever it rains.
He however, says that they have approached donors to help the school purchase the lightning conductors to rescue the fluctuating attendance.
In the absence of the device, the pupils have been taught on life skills on how to avoid falling victims of lightning. Solomon Cal, the head prefect of the school says that they have been taught to avoid taking shelter under trees or walking in the rain.
Christine Alima, another pupil of the school adds that despite the survival skills taught to them, they are still afraid to remain at school when it rains. Alima is appealing to government to provide the schools with money to buy the lightning conductors to ensure safety of the learners and their teachers.
Alima explains that they were alarmed after news emerged that lightning had killed a pupil of a neighboring school in Pabbo Sub County, as he walked back home after school.
Ben Okwamoi, the Amuru District Education Officer, said he did not have data on how many schools are with or without the devices to arrest lightning but said they have approached the ministry and donors with requests to install the gadgets at all schools.
There have been rampant occurrences of lightning in many parts of the country, leaving at least 40 people dead and hundreds others injured. In one such incident, 21 pupils of Runyaanya Primary school in Kiryandongo district were struck dead and 51 others injured.
poor education performance